Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 1TB consumer grade NAS and I can use whatever file system I please on it. I only plan to ever use it with linux based systems, so windows compatibility is not really a priority. What is the best file system for archiving? JFS? Ext3? Ext4? btrfs?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

ext4 with journaling and delayed allocation (dealloc) turned off. The extents (introduced in ext4, but also available in xfs) will speed up dealing with large files--which I assume you'll be using.

share|improve this answer

I use btrfs. Why do I use something that isn't production quality? Because I've got several different backups, so corruption in one isn't a very big problem for me. And btrfs does checksums of data, so if I can recover from the backup, I can be sure that the data is intact.

share|improve this answer
Btrfs is still unstable. Mike wants a filesystem for backup, which means archival, perhaps for a long time (who knows when that data will be necessary?). I wouldn't recommend a filesystem that is not considered stable yet. – Juliano Jan 31 '11 at 4:44
@Juliano: And you think I failed to bring this up in my answer? – ptman Jan 31 '11 at 6:08
I think he meant what happens if 5 years later you go back to the data only to find the specification was finalised after you wrote it and you cant read it back any more ? – Sirex Jan 31 '11 at 7:56

Btrfs is quite stable nowadays [well, at least relatively :-) for 2.6.37 kernel] and it supports on-fly compression, amongst other nice features.

Ext4 is quite nice as well. Unless you're risky enough for Btrfs EXT4 could be good choice, but it's also not such matured comparing to EXT3.

JFS as a surprise, supports extents for a long time, formats/mounts fast and hence can be a good choice for back-ups (just remember that it has to be fsck'ed on unclean shutdown).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.